There has been concern about the number of undocumented immigrants in California who have, supposedly, voluntarily returned to their home countries. What is the concern? According to the ACLU, many of these individuals signed these voluntary returns under duress and/or without knowing or understanding the specific terms that are associated with this action. Thanks to a lawsuit, many of these individuals will now be allowed to present a deportation defense, and have been allowed to re-enter the country until their cases are finalized.
A total of four immigrants recently re-entered the United States thanks to a settlement that was reached between the Department of Homeland Security and the ACLU. This is actually the second group of immigrants that have been allowed to return because of this settlement. In order to qualify for re-entry, those who voluntarily returned must have done so between June 2009 and Aug. 2014. These individuals must also be able to show that, had they been allowed to remain in the country for deportation proceedings, they would have been able to qualify for relief.
Of those who have returned thus far, it is said that they have family members already living in the United States and that there are legitimate reasons for them to possibly be granted deportation relief. Despite this, it is believed that these individuals signed voluntary return forms due to pressure from ICE agents. A representative for the agency denies any wrongdoing by employees.
The ACLU and the Department of Justice are currently accepting applications from those who believe they qualify to re-enter the United States. Applications must be submitted by Dec. 23. A California immigrantion attorney can help in filing all appropriate paperwork and assist in the deportation defense of those who do qualify.
Source: sandiegouniontribune.com, “More immigrants return to U.S. under class-action lawsuit settlement“, Tatiana Sanchez, Sept. 15, 2015